A medical power of attorney i(POA) s an estate planning document that basically gives someone else the ability to make your decisions for medical care and treatment. You do not give this right over instantly, just by drafting the document. Instead, you set up conditions that allow it to spring into place. If you’re incapacitated or unable to comprehend your decisions, for instance, the person holding your medical POA can step in.
The need for this is clear, but it is only one type of power of attorney. You can also create a legal power of attorney. Why is this document used?
The focus is on your assets
Though powers of attorney can be drafted uniquely to give narrow or wide legal powers to a third party, the focus is usually on finances and property. The person with your financial or legal POA has the ability to control your assets and make decisions regarding them.
The need for this kind of POA could be as simple as allowing a relative to have access to your bank accounts. They can then withdraw money to use for your nursing home costs, medical care costs and much more. You may also give them access to investment portfolios, safe deposit boxes, and anything else you use to store your assets.
Furthermore, they may be allowed to make decisions regarding your physical property. If you have a mortgage, they can pay it, along with property taxes. If you need to sell your car, they can do it for you. Essentially, they handle all of the logistics for you so that you know complex decisions are being made with your best interests in mind.
Setting up your financial POA
As noted, you can set this up to offer very specific powers or a wide range of options. It’s all up to you. Just make sure you know what legal steps to take to make sure that you have the right documents in place and that this is the right decision for your needs. Working with an experienced elder law attorney is wise.